From a program recorded on July 16, 1980, Charles Amirkhanian introduces the work of the French actor and singer, Caroline Gautier. She talks about her investigation of early examples of spoken ballads or musical declamations. To highlight her comments Amirkhanian presents three seldom performed works, composed by Robert Schumann, and performed by Gautier and pianist Michaël Lévinas. Gautier provides the story behind each piece as well as describing how her acting talent is incorporated into... Topics: Morning Concert Series, Music, Interview, Classical Music
Jon Gibson performs three movements from his five movement, 1979, composition, “Criss x Cross,” after which he discusses the piece with program host, Charles Amirkhanian. This somewhat aleatoric work apparently follows a score in which the notes are indicated without any rhythmic instructions, and much of the phrasing and duration of the notes is improvised. The work is influenced by Gibson’s interest in bagpipe music and the pibrochs of the Scottish Highlands, although one can also see... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, New Music, Saxophone music
Music of J.S. Bach and his sons, C.P.E, Bach and the “English” John Christian Bach, and their influence on Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, all in performances which attempt to approximate the sounds that audiences of the period might have experienced. Some listeners will prefer these performances, others will not; yet they all will offer insights into how the majesty of Bach led to the magic of Mozart. (from KPFA Folio). Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Music, Classical Music
In honor of her 70th birthday, Betty Freeman appears on KPFA's Morning Concert, hosted by Charles Amirkhanian. Freeman shares anecdotes from her long career, first as a budding pianist and then as a supporter of contemporary composers such as Harry Partch, John Cage, and La Monte Young. Freeman also describes her work as a photographer of composers, and gives her opinions about listening to and loving new music. Musical excerpts include "Goldberg Variations" by J. S. Bach, and... Topics: interviews, KPFA Morning Concert series, Betty Freeman, New Music
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, Professor of Assyriology at the University of California at Berkeley, about an LP ”Sounds from silence; Recent discoveries in ancient Near Eastern music” which documents a previously unknown musical composition dating from around 1400 BC. This ancient fertility hymn from Ugarit caused an international sensation when modern research made available for the first time, the knowledge necessary for the translation of ancient clay tablets... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, Ancient Music
When the ROVA Saxophone Quartet toured the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, it was the enterprising and irrepressible Alexander Kan who invited the group and organized the visit against improbable odds. In 1988 KPFA turned the tables and invited Mr. Kan to its studio for a discussion. He was the leading Soviet producer of new music, avant-garde jazz, and experimental rock. The founder of the Leningrad Contemporary Music Club, which throughout the late 1970s until it was banned in the 1980s,... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Interview, Orchestral Music, Jazz
From a recording made in May of 1991, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Paul Dresher about his theatrical production, “Pioneer”, which "celebrates and exposes American explorers and the myths of the pioneering spirit." Several songs from the production are also heard. The two also discuss the difficulties in portraying offensive attitudes such as racial bigotry and the history of American colonialism. In the second half of the program is Charles and Paul are joined by Gerald Oshita... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Music Theatre
In an interview, recorded on June 22, 1979, Charles Amirkhanian talks with the Mexican composer Arturo Salinas. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Salinas studied composition with Robert Cogan at the New England Conservatory, ethnomusicology with Charles Boilès in Montreal, electro-acoustic music and microtonality with Jean-Etienne Marie in Paris, and orchestral conducting with Igor Markevitch. Included in this program is a complete performance of his “Memoire Imarcescible”, an electro-acoustic... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, Music, Microtonal Music
Charles Amirkhanian interviews William Ward on the subject of one of his oratorios, Fray Junípero Serra, a Franciscan priest who founded many of the Catholic Missions in California. Amirkhanian also questions Ward on his own experiences as a student and teacher of music in the United States. Dr. William R. Ward holds a Ph.D. degree from the Eastman School of Music, and for many years served as chairman of the Music Department of San Francisco State University and later as the Associate Dean of... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, Music, 20th Century Classical
From September 4, 1992, Charles Amirkhanian introduces a retrospective on the life of composer John Cage, whose work has had a great influence on artistic thought in the 20th Century, and who had just passed away a few weeks before what would have been his 80th birthday on September 5th 1992. Richard Friedman, and composer, author, and critic Charles Shere join in the commentary, and archival recordings of Cage’s voice complete the festivities. Also heard during this program are live... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Documentary, New Music, John Cage
From a recording made in July of 1988, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Lawrence Weschler, essayist for the New Yorker Magazine and grandson of composer Ernst Toch. They discusses his book “Shapinsky's Karma, Boggs's Bill, and Other True-Life Tales ”, which profiles six people who unexpectedly changed the direction of their lives. These include the story of James Boggs who blurred the lines between art and commerce by painting exquisite copies of $100 bills and then insisted on spending them,... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview, Modern Art, Lawrence Weschler
Charles Amirkhanian discusses the politics of new music in the Bay Area, with reference to the unsympathetic criticism, leveled at avant-garde artists such as John Cage and Merce Cunningham, by music critics at the New York Time and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Amirkhanian argues that while Bay Area audiences clearly support the radical styles of the avant-garde, the local papers of note only employ music critics that favor the contemporary classical music of more academically... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Lecture, Panel Discussion, New Music
Host Sarah Cahill presents a diverse number of musical settings of poems by the renowned American poet Emily Dickinson. Juxtaposed settings by Aaron Copland, John Adams, George Perle and Ernst Bacon reveal each composer’s unique approach to handling Dickinson’s enigmatic work. While Adams’s well-known “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson” is featured in its entirety, seldom-heard work by Perle and Bacon offers a different take not only on the text, but on the author’s status as... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Art Songs
This program, recorded on March 10, 1988, begins with Charles Amirkhanian’s brief interview with composer Harvey Sollberger in which they discuss two of Sollberger’s works, “Persian Golf” and “Three or Four Things I Know About the Oboe.” The two are then joined by composer John Adams for a discussion about the state of New Music in the San Francisco Bay Area. The bulk of the program is then dedicated to John Adams’ blockbuster opera “Nixon in China.” This masterwork of... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interviews, Opera, 20th Century Classical
Fountain pens were the early 20th Century equivalent of the laptop computer. Allowing individuals the ability to write without being tied to a desk and inkwell, this unique American invention came to symbolize literacy for the man or woman who owned and carried one. Recently, as computer technology has threatened to wipe out the individual personality of the handwritten word, hoards of collectors have rediscovered the joy of writing with new and vintage instruments which can vary the width of... favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Other Finds, Fountain Pens
In this program, recorded in May of 1979, New York composer Philip Corner is the guest of Charles Amirkhanian. He discusses his music in preparation for his appearance at the Exploratorium in San Francisco as part of the Speaking of Music series of lecture/performances. As a member of the faculty of Livingston College (Rutgers University), Corner continued his provocative, improvisation-oriented, music making based on highly original, open-ended, beautifully handwritten, performance notations... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Interview, Percussion music, Improvisation
In March 1983, Knopf Publishers of New York released the controversial book ALL AMERICAN MUSIC: Composition of the late 20th Century, by New York Times music critic John Rockwell. On March 14, 1983, live on the KPFA Morning Concert, Charles Amirkhanian talked with Rockwell about this book and the various composers featured, including the range from Milton Babbitt to Neil Young and Phil Glass to Ornette Coleman. Musical examples from the work of each composer also is heard. This is a 2 part... Topics: All American Music, John Rockwell, Knopf Publishers, Morning Concert Series, composition, music...
Ron Erickson interviews musicologist Hans Moldenhauer, who with his wife Rosaleen, has published a book on Anton Webern. Moldenhauer has also collected a significant archive of documents, manuscripts, and musical scores that encompass the history of music from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century, including a vast amount of materials pertaining to Webern and Schoenberg. The program concludes with a performance of the Spring and Summer concertos from Darius Milhaud’s “Four Seasons”... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Hans Moldenhauer
Amirkhanian talks with Swedish composer Lars Gunnar Bodin. The program includes a demonstration of computer mix-down technique. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Sound Poetry,...
Charles Amirkhanian and Russ Jennings are joined in the KPFA studio by Frederic Rzewski, an American composer and performer, who has spent much of his adult life living in Rome and Brussels. Rzewski was a founding member of the radical, electronic, music group, Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV), and the composer of a famous set of piano variations based on Sergio Ortega protest song “El Pueblo Undio Jamas Sera Vencido”. He is known for both his remarkable virtuosity as a performer, improviser... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Frederic Rzewski
Guitar virtuoso David Tanenbaum discusses new works extending the language of the instrument with Charles Amirkhanian. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, 20th Century Classical, Music, Guitar Music
In a recording made in 1992, Charles Amirkhanian hosts a program featuring music played on the Disklavier, a sort of modern player piano. It is a devise that can be attached to a grand piano so as to enable it to record, playback, and even manipulate music played on its keys. In the first half of the program, Charles is joined in the studio by Gary Noland, who has composed a number of pieces for the Disklavier. In the second half of the program, Charles conducts an impromptu interview with... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Mechanical Music,...
Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer Lou Harrison about his recent work. Harrison had just completed a semester of teaching at Mills College, as holder of the Milhaud Chair in composition. Most of this program is devoted to Harrison's work with gamelan music, and a number of selections from his album released by CRI, are heard. Also participating in this program is Harrison’s partner William Colvig. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, 20th Century Classical, Lou Harrison
In this brief interview with Charles Amirkhanian, recorded on Nov. 20, 1980, composer Charlemagne Palestine discusses how his early minimal drone works were a reaction to the dense compositional style of Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, but have since evolved beyond basic minimalism to embrace a more complex sonority. He then goes on to give a description of his string piece for 11 performers, “Birth of a Sonority”, as well as his pieces for the Bösendorfer piano. Much of Palestine’s... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Charlemagne Palestine
Composer James Tenney visits Charles Amirkhanian in the KPFA studio and introduces recorded performances of his unusual and very beautiful compositions. These include pieces of traditional chamber music as well as several electronic and tape works. In addition to his work as a composer, Tenney is also an academic, and was at the time of this recording on the faculty of UC at Santa Cruz. His students include Peter Garland, the composer and editor of Soundings magazine. Tenney was also a good... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Electro-Acoustic,...
Charles Amirkhanian talks with David Raksin about his career as a composer for Hollywood films. Raksin describes his intentions while presenting selections from some of his best known film scores. Also discussed is the lost art of melody among modern composers. Born in 1912, Raskin was known as the grandfather of film music, having composed hundreds of scores for film and television, starting with Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” and including such films as “The Bad and the... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, David Raksin, Interview, Music, 20th Century Classical, Motion...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews the Mandingo Griot musician from Gambia, Foday Musa Suso. A virtuoso on the 21-stringed kora, he also is a drummer and composer whose multi-instrumental talents are highlighted on numerous recordings, including The Dreamtime, a CD from CMP (3001), issued in Germany. After teaching at the University of Ghana and performing radio and television programs throughout Europe, Suso moved to the United States in 1977. Since then he has founded the Mandingo Griot Society,... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, World Music, Jazz, Foday Musa Suso
Pianist Martha Anne Verbit performs live in the KPFA studio on the station’s Bösendorfer grand piano, and talks with Charles Amirkhanian about her excursions into the sensuous, mystical, and arcane reaches of early 20th century piano music, as well as giving biographical information about each of the composers featured in this concert. Verbit has recorded an album of music by Cyril Scott for Genesis Records, and is an expert performer of Scriabin’s music. She has given solo recitals at... favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews ) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Martha Ann Verbit, Music, Interview, 20th Century Classical, Piano...
This program contains a selection of Armenian music, including folk, popular and classical forms, presented by Hratch Nargizian, a native of Armenia SSR, now resident in the Bay Area. Included among recorded examples are selections from Vahe Hovsepian (dudek), Lucine Zakarian, Tatevik Hovhanesian, Sayat Nova Ensemble of Armenian Dance and Song, Maratook, Sassoonik Ethnic Orchestra, the Capella Choir of Armenia (Hovhaness Chekijian, conductor) and the Sharakan Ensemble of Ancient Music. Charles... Topics: KPFA, Morning Concert series, Armenian music, World Music, Interview and Music
In an interview recorded in June of 1987, Charles Amirkhanian visits composer Denys Bouliane at his home in Cologne, Germany. Bouliane was born in 1955 in Quebec, Canada, but moved to Germany to study with György Ligeti. Bouliane is a former rock guitarist who became interested in classical music when the father of a friend gave him a recording by Stravinsky, after which he quickly decided to pursue a career as a composer although he didn’t even know how to read music. After an initial... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Avant-Garde, Denys...
Charles Amirkhanian talks with the two great O's of the ‘90s, plunderphonicker John Oswald and deep listener Pauline Oliveros. Hailing from Toronto, Oswald has been astounding audiences with his technoripoffaudacities, which lately have landed him in trouble with Canadian record industry authorities. Oswald discusses why he uses other people's music to create his own. Pauline Oliveros lives in Kingston, New York, although her formative years were spent in the Bay Area. All through the days... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Popular Music, Pauline Oliveros,...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Cuban composer Aurelio de la Vega about his life and music. The two are joined in the KPFA studio by soprano, Anne Marie Ketchum, who recently recorded one of Vega’s works. In addition to hearing two of his pieces, Vega also discusses the work of two other Cuban composers, Alejandro García Caturla & Amadeo Roldán. Vega has taken on the Herculean task of cataloging the manuscripts and scores of Carturla, which were left in a highly disorganized state after... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, Interview, 20th century classical, Electro-acoustic,...
Carolie Shoemaker, composer, vocalist, and performance artist, hails from Seattle, where she has made a significant reputation as an innovative personality on the new music scene. Charles Amirkhanian interviews the visiting musician, who introduces selections from her work, including Yo(u) Tarzan, Stitch in Time, and other pieces. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Jazz, Carolie Shumaker
The brilliant young violinist and composer from Japan is interviewed about her career and her recent composition “U (The Cormorant)” for violin and tape. She also describes some of the challenges of performing music that blends electronics with a traditional instrument. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic Music, Mari Kimura
Russ Jennings is joined by theatrical director R. G. Davis in a program dedicated to the various composers that worked with Bertolt Brecht. Davis describes the evolution of Brecht’s political philosophy and how that was reflected in the composers he chose to work with. Particular attention is paid to the period of 1927 to 1933 which saw Brecht’s most successful collaborations with Kurt Weill give way to the more Marxist influenced agitprop theater he created with Hanns Eisler. Davis also... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Opera, Music Theatre, Bertolt Brecht
Charles Amirkhanian commemorates the genocide of the Armenian People by the Ottoman Turks in 1915 with music by the Chancel Choir of Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church in Fresno California. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Classical Music, Armenian Music
Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer John Duffy, whose television series soundtrack “Heritage: Civilization & The Jews,” has been reworked into a suite for orchestra with narrator. Duffy, the founder of the Meet the Composer organization, which assists groups in bringing composers to meet their audiences, has had a revolutionary impact on the American music scene of the late 20th century. Now Charles Amirkhanian plays turnabout and brings you John Duffy himself, interviewed shortly... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, John Duffy, Interview, Music, 20th Century Classical
Born in Prague in 1921, composer Karel Husa won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1969, for his third String Quartet. On February 7, 1975 he was in Berkeley to attend a conference of college band directors and stopped by the KPFA studio to talk with KPFA Music Director Charles Amirkhanian and Charles Shere, music critic with the Oakland Tribune. The three of them discuss the phenomena of university bands and how they are a breeding ground for young and enthusiastic wind players, who should... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Karel Husa
From a program recorded on Feb. 3, 1983, the noted German pianist Klaus Billing, is Charles Amirkhanian’s guest, performing solo piano works by Hans Werner Henze, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Aribert Reimann. As an orchestral soloist, Billing has played with such conductors as Paul Hindemith, Hans Rosbaud, and Ernst Bour, and played concerts outside Europe in Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Pakistan, India, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Billing is also the author of the 500 page treatise “Piano... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Klaus Billing, Music, 20th Century Classical
Charles Amirkhanian interviews British composer Gavin Bryars and plays a selection of his music during a pledge marathon week at KPFA. Bryars, born in Yorkshire in 1943, is one of a group of British experimental composers interested in minimal yet consonant music. He has composed for the theater and dance, as well as for the concert hall, and has written three full-length operas. In this program you will hear three excerpts of his work, including his “Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet” with... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Gavin Bryars
From January 4, 1979, Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Phil Corner. Born April 10, 1933 in New York, Corner studied briefly with Olivier Messiaen in Paris in 1955, and in 1958, at the New School for Social Research, he attended John Cage’s class which also included such distinguished budding artists as Allan Kaprow, George Brecht, Dick Higgins, and others who would make their marks in the lively East Village scene of the 1960s. As a member of the faculty of Livingston College (Rutgers... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Philip Corner
Charles Hamm, noted historian and musicologist specializing in American music both serious and popular, visited KPFA in October 1980. In this program Hamm discusses developments in South African and American popular music with Charles Amirkhanian and Chris Strachwitz, illustrating his comments with many recorded examples. Hamm, who has been involved with the study of Zulu popular music in particular reports on what he discovered during a trip to Africa. In addition Hamm traces the manner in... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, World Music, Charles Hamm
Charles Amirkhanian talks with guests Joan La Barbara and Morton Subotnick. La Barbara is a composer working with extended vocal techniques. She was also the new music critic of the magazine Musical America, and she and Charles critique a recent concert by Philip Glass. Morton Subotnick is one of America's foremost electronic composers and teaches in the faulty of CalArts. He discusses his newest work "Ghost Pieces". The three also talk about the differences, or lack of them, between... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Joan LaBarbara,...
In a program recorded on June 23, 1978, Charles Amirkhanian interviews San Francisco born composer David Cope. Born in 1941, Cope was at the time of this recording, a member of the faculty of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, but was for one year only teaching at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is the author of “New Directions in Music,” “New Music Composition,” and “New Music Notation,” in which he sets out to catalogue new music notation in an attempt to codify or... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview, 20th Century Classical, Chamber music, Instrumental...
Composer Conlon Nancarrow was born on October 27, 1912 in Texaskana, Arkansas and has lived in Mexico City since 1940. Richard Friedman speaks with him by telephone about his career, and introduces recent recordings of Nancarrow’s player piano music as well as works for live performers. Friedman also talks to Gordon Mumma who describes the early career of Nancarrow during which his music was largely unappreciated until Henry Cowell and John Cage took an interest in the composer’s studies... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, New Music, Conlon Nancarrow
English composer, Tim Souster, visited the San Francisco Bay Area in 1978 in order to produce a new composition at Stanford University’s internationally renowned computer music center, and during his stay happily agreed to be interviewed on KPFA. Charles Amirkhanian introduces Souster and his music during the course of a lively program, recorded at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Center on October 3, 1978. “Driftwood Cortege” (1978), Souster’s computer piece, completed earlier that... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Tim Souster
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Dallas composer Jerry Hunt, who was scheduled to give a concert of live-electronic music soon after this program. The deviser of the enchantment procedure piece "Sur (Doctor) John Dee" will introduce live radio performances of his "Quaquaversal Transmission (Phalba overlay)," and Harmand Plane (reflex), as well as other selections such as "VOLTA (Kernal) In the middle of the interview with Hunt, electronic music composer Ivan Tcherepnin... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Jerry Hunt
Charles Amirkhanian talks to composer Benjamin Lees about his memories of living in Paris including playing chess with Marcel Duchamp and meeting other famous artists. We then hear the premier performance of Lees’ Concerto for brass choir and orchestra. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music,...
Peter Sculthorpe (born April 19, 1929, in Launceton, Tasmania) is one of the most renowned composers living in Australia. His informed incorporation of Asian musical elements in his own output makes for a subtle and remarkable blend of styles and sonorities, sensitively accomplished. In San Francisco, his music has been championed by the Kronos Quartet, and on a visit to the Bay Area in 1983, in order to witness the premiere of a piece composed for that ensemble, Sculthorpe talked with Charles... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical Music, Peter Sculthorpe
From a recording made on February 4, 1988, Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer, performer, and video artist, Jack Briece about contemporary Finnish music. Works heard include compositions by Harri Wessman, Jarmo Sermilä, Paavo Heininen, Lepo Sumera, Usko Meriläinen, and other talented Finnish composers who’s works remain relatively unknown in the United States. Having become interested in the music of Finland he traveled to the country in 1985 and then again in 1987, after which he... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music,...